I finally got some hosting for the Techspec. If any body would like to be a writer for the new site then send me an email at Kreasons@gmail.com. Also if anybody would like to help out with designing the site then let me know. I will be bring over the writers that I have here at Techspec and will change the focus of the site a little bit. The next version of Techspec will only be a glimpse (a small one) of what I would like to see the site turn into. It will be a fully functioning tech site of course (very much more then it is now) however it won’t be the "finished product" in my eyes. More to come soon... :)
Security Now podcast with Leo Laporte/Steve Gibson
Although Episode #1 is only eighteen minutes long I think you people should give it a try. Head over to This Week in Tech or Feedburner to download now. It covers hot topics in security. Also Leo has set up an iTunes link.
HBO has designed a downloadable skin for the Firefox browser using the theme of it's upcoming series entitled "Rome." This skin will transform the buttons and external design of the browser into the feeling of "antiquity." The skin is available through your Firefox's tools menu but as of late last night, it was not available. Cnet News
Well, for people like me that look for game prices to go down over time just caught a bit of bad luck. While waiting for San Andreas to go down in price to pick it up for the Xbox, it gets taken off the market because of this hidden sex game, which makes the game AO, or Adults Only. Anyhow, needless to say, this event severly kicked up the price of the game on ebay, now Xbox versions of the game are usually going for no less than 60 bucks. What lesson did I learn from this? Buy a video game when it first comes out so if someone finds a hidden sex game in this years version of Madden, I'll still have the game. Which is why I've already bought it of course.
Microsoft cuts Monad Shell feature in Windows Vista
After hearing public reports that viruses have been written for Vista, Microsoft has cut the Monad Shell feature. The Monad Shell allows a user to access the operating systems using text-based commands instead of the usual graphical interface of Windows. However, Microsoft Director of Product Management Eric Berg said the Monad feature will be included with Vista in the next three to five years. "Our intention is to synchronize it with both client and server operating systems, " says Berg. The only reason they offer as to why this feature will not be included is that the Monad Shell would be an attractive tarket for hackers, even more if the shell were enabled by default. "Presumably, as time goes on, all of Microsoft's products will have Monad scripting interfaces," Berg said. PC World
A program in Indiana will try and get a laptop to every high school student. The catch, it's got Linux on it. The Indiana schools are testing the laptops and hope to distribute about 300,000 laptops across the state. "Indiana schools aren't just talking about desktop Linux – students and teachers are actually using it every day," said Kevin Carmony, CEO of Linspire, which is supplying the Linux OS and software. The first initial rollout of Linux started three years ago but now they are finally getting their act together. More info can be found at Beta News.
When people look for alternative operating systems, most would look toward to Linux, or the BSD's, however, Zeta, based on BeOS R5 code, is trying to gain some of the spotlight for itself in the market. Right before Be Inc. was bought out by Palm, Inc. in 2001, a licensing deal was set up with YellowTAB to use the source to BeOS 5.1.0. Since then, YellowTAB has continued development on the operating system, and after a number of “release candidates”, version 1.0 has finally arrived. As it improved and worth the wait? Well.... It depends.
Zeta 1.0 has many improvement's over the release candidates and BeOS R5. First, Zeta 1.0 can now boot if more then 1 gig. Of ram is present in the computer, where before, a hack was needed to limit the amount Zeta would recognize. Second, the installer has been greatly improved. The partitioner, powered by Paragon, allows for non destructive partitioning of NTFS partitions, however other kinds must be reformatted, and partitions cannot be deleted outright. Hopefully future versions improve over this. The rest of the installer works just fine, however some of the default software choices are a bit puzzling. It's very bloated in software, for example, there are over 170 megabytes of game software (most of which are just emulators, or poor SDL games). While they can be turned off from being installed, for those just going with the defaults, there will be a lot of extra software that just does not need to be there.
After the install, the computer restarts, and boots Zeta (unless of course you are running a multi-boot system, then bootman starts and allows one to pick which OS to start). Now, here are where the problems really begin. The major issue right after starting Zeta, hardware support. My video card (ATI x800 pro AGP) is not supported, being so, Zeta only allowed resolutions up to 800x600 at 8-bit's of color. Being based off the “multimedia OS”, this was a major issue. Alternative drivers did not help at all as well. Also, my network card was not detected as well , which is very odd as according to YellowTAB's website my network card is supported right out of the box. Again, alternative drivers did not help, however I was able to get network support from my motherboards Ethernet slot detected, but I could not use it for some reason. My Creative sound blaster live card worked fine, but if I can't watch any of the video's on my computer because of the video driver or go on the Internet to get new videos or games, it just does not work out. The cost of Zeta is also very high, at around $120 to $130
If your hardware is supported (REALLY supported) by Zeta, then there is a good amount to like. The interface is easy to use (however menus can be a bit convoluted), mounting of partitions and drives is painless. Mozilla firefox comes in right out of the box, and works very well (much better then past versions), however, There is no Java support as of right now. The media player plays videos and music well enough (depending on hardware). Boot time for Zeta is very low (because of the BeOS/Zeta micro-kernel), being about 10-15 seconds. Word processing and such is taken care of thanks to Gobe Productive, which is a very easy to use and well made program.
If you have the right combination of hardware, Zeta 1.0 is a easy to use OS worthy of your time, however because the hardware and drivers issues, it's very hard to recommend this operating system. Most of the problems with Zeta stem from issues using BeOS, which also had issues with hardware support. The best bet, is to wait for the next version's of the operating system, which hopefully will iron out these issues. Zeta: Try before you buy.
Those of you listened to any of Leo Laporte's various podcasts you'll have heard of Leo saying that Microsoft is a dying age. I agree wholeheartedly. I think Windows Vista is just the latest mistake that Microsoft is making while going down in a blaze of shame. All the great things that were supposed to be in Vista have been stripped and now Windows Vista seems to me like nothing but a new distribution of Windows that is full of nothing. Of course Vista wasn't Microsoft's only mistake. Inlude Window's Mellenium Edition. I have that currently installed on my crappy HP Pavilion 6830. I hate it so much. Thank god the opposition has come out with open source alternatives like Linux and their distro's, along with Apple with OS X. Another of Microsoft's big mistakes, Internet Explorer. This thing is so riddled full of security holes you could throw a flare in it and see all the way to China. Here's the solution to Internet Explorer, obviously one of them definately is Firefox, another is Opera. Both of these are fine alternatives to the joke of a web browser Internet Explorer. So here's what I say, if your a tech geek, make the switch to Linux. If your just your run of the mill average joe, then go with an Apple product and use OS X. Only gamers should really stick to Windows. Considering almost all pc games are formatted for only Windows use. So be a rebel and dump Microsoft quickly!
P.S. The guy on the Opera home page is wearing a power ranger's suit.